Tackling Technical Debt: A Crucial Step Towards Enhanced Productivity

Pascal Rodriguez

Engineering Director at Visium


Implementing Solutions

"The first step to managing this looming issue is quantifying, monitoring, and highlighting technical debt."

One of the most daunting aspects of tech debt is its invisibility, often undetected until it begins to impede daily operations. It is crucial to meticulously measure the time engineers dedicate to diagnosing and mitigating tech debt. Empirical evidence emerged as the most potent tool when advocating for change in upper management.

Subsequently, outlining all dependencies and compellingly demonstrating how tech debt hinders the development of new features and undercuts overall productivity can garner support from leadership and secure their approval to undertake the necessary remedial measures.

A practical strategy is to earmark a proportion of each sprint's team velocity specifically for refactoring and technical debt elimination. Allocating approximately 30 percent of the team's efforts to address this issue usually proves sufficient. Additionally, eradicating technical debt should be intentionally incorporated into the roadmap, denoted as a feature of equal, if not higher, importance. This focus minimizes the time allocated to support tasks and emphasizes the significance of dealing with tech debt.

It is crucial to uphold consistent and high standards - refrain from resorting to workarounds and hasty patches unless it's a matter of company survival. Instead, uphold your standards and cultivate a culture within the company that values quality and longevity over quick fixes.

Key Takeaways

"Leveraging metrics was instrumental in persuading management to allot resources to tackle technical debt."

Rapid deployment and accelerated growth must be grounded in solid foundations. Again, the analogy of the company as a building can be effective - illustrating the detrimental effects of faulty bricks in our architectural framework. Metaphors like these resonate with non-technical leadership, making the scale and seriousness of the problem more understandable.

Another convincing argument for leadership is the direct impact of technical debt on the bandwidth of engineers. By curbing technical debt, we bolster productivity and expedite time-to-market as more engineers can direct their expertise toward developing innovative solutions.

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Pascal Rodriguez

Engineering Director at Visium

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